The Launching Ceremony was opened with remarks by key speakers from ASEF and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Vietnam respectively, The event was followed by the symbolic handover of an inventory list, presented to the Vietnamese Foreign Minister by the Japanese Foreign Minister and witnessed by ministers of the ASEM Initiative’s co-sponsoring countries*. Due to the state of alert caused by the outbreak of influenza A (H1N1), the ceremony drew keen attention from governments and various organisations. Some expressed particular interest in the ASEM Initiative and their willingness to be closely updated on its progress. At the 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Chair’s Statement welcomed the ASEM Initiative as an effort to combat the threat of pandemic influenza and work in the field of public health through close collaboration between Asia and Europe.
*Hungary, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
HE Hirofumi Nakasone, then Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Amb. Dominique Girard, Executive Director, ASEF
HE Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vietnam